Nweze Nnakwe, PhD, RD, LD: Dr. Nnakwe is a Full Professor of Human Metabolic Nutrition at Illinois State University (ISU) for over 31 years. During her tenure at ISU, she has taught 11 different nutrition courses and supervised 9 independent study courses. Food Science is among these courses that she taught. She strengthened the Food Science course by incorporating research activities into it. The student’s research activities in this course resulted in 23 published abstracts and presentations in the Illinois State University Undergraduate Research Proceedings, and one paper published in the Journal of Student Scholarship, ORBIT. The idea of making peanut butter without peanut originated in the Food Science laboratory. In addition, Dr. Nnakwe has directed several initiatives, she served as the director of Dietetic Internship Program, established and is the director of a Service Learning Program that serves Bloomington-Normal’s at risk communities as part of her Community Nutrition course. Dr. Nnakwe is a full Graduate Faculty Member and has served as the Chair of 12 thesis and served on 7 thesis committees at ISU. She also served on external dissertation committee at Avinashilingam University, Coimbatore India. In 2003, Dr. Nnakwe received the department’s outstanding research award and she is the author of 25 peer reviewed research articles in professional journals and 27 abstracts in journals and proceedings. She recently published the second edition of her textbook entitled, “Community Nutrition: Planning Health Promotion and Disease Prevention” by Jones and Bartlett Learning Sudbury, MA. She also published 2 Student’s and 2 Instructor’s Guides. Dr. Nnakwe is also a Women’s Health Educator and educates peri and postmenopausal women in the Bloomington-Normal community and surrounding areas on various health issues such as heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, stress management, the consequences of menopause, and weight management. She appeared twice on the local CNN Headline News channel for her outreach programs. She served as the Chairperson of the Membership Section of The American Institute of Nutrition--constituency of the Federation of the American Society for Experimental Biology (FASEB). Dr. Nnakwe has served as the President of Illinois Family and Consumer Sciences organization and chaired in several university committees. She is a reviewer for 7 journals including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Journal. She is also the founder and President of Merciful Hearts Foundation, INC., NFP, a tax exempt, Not-For-Profit organization that provides preventive health care services to poor pregnant women, infants and children in Nigeria. In addition to her professional pursuits, Dr. Nnakwe is also a loving wife, mother and grandmother of 5 grown children and, 5 energetic grandchildren.
Dr. Nnakwe studies factors that influence bone density, food insecurity, and pregnancy outcomes as reflected in the publications listed below.